Frequently Asked Questions
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- Anyone who Performes. Atcors (Alexander was an actor, so he apply to his voice and acting skills his technique). Musicians, Dancers, etc.
- Anyone who wishes to diminish pain and prevent injury.
- Anyone who wishes to move with greater freedom, comfort, and expressiveness.
- Anyone who wishes to perform any movement, task, or activity with optimal ease and efficiency.
- Anyone who wishes to breathe and speak with greater support and confidence.
People who learn the Alexander Technique can better handle daily stress and develop a long-term solution to chronic pain and muscular tension. They acquire an enduring way to perceive tensions as they arise and to restore their own balance.
- Self care:
As a premier form of self care, the Alexander Technique helps prevent injury and with recovery from chronic back, hip and neck disorders, traumatic or repetitive strain injuries, balance and coordination disorders, arthritis and muscle spasms. It can also be beneficial for people with asthma and stress-related disorders, such as migraine headaches, sleep disorders and panic attacks.
- Skill enhancement:
Athletes use the Technique to help improve strength, endurance, flexibility and responsiveness. Performing artists use it to lessen performance anxiety while improving concentration and stage presence. Public speakers use it to improve vocal projection and voice quality. Those in business find it enhances presentation skills and increases confidence.
- Mental health:
As your posture and movement style improve, you look and feel better. As your breathing capacity expands, you have a greater resource of energy. Physicians recommend the Alexander Technique to lessen the depression and anxiety associated with chronic conditions. Psychotherapists also may refer their patients to Alexander Technique teachers. While you unravel muscular tensions, you may perceive an emotional link to your physical symptoms. Study of the Alexander Technique can help release emotions, provoke deeper understanding of the self, and it can complement psychotherapy.
- Stress in daily life:
Because the Alexander Technique helps you change your response to stress, it can help you relieve or eliminate stress-related conditions. The body's reaction to threat — a fear reflex marked by a tight neck and contracted body — is a natural, adaptive response. But if the body does not unwind from this contraction and stays in a constant state of emergency, there is a physical price to pay. You can learn to restabilize and recuperate from stress with the Alexander Technique: a set of body/mind skills that helps you release contracted muscles, calm the nervous system and handle stressors more easily.
- Chronic pain:
Chronic pain can be the result of injury, disease, structural abnormality or muscular tension. Though the Technique is not a miracle cure for medical conditions, by reducing the stress response it can often provide a surprising degree of relief. For conditions that cannot be changed — such as rheumatoid arthritis — it can still help the individual release the muscular tension and fear response that accompany injury or disease.
- Back problems:
One of the most effective approaches to chronic back problems (see research), the Technique can address the underlying cause and often relieve the condition completely. When there are unchangeable factors of disease or structure, the Alexander teacher's soothing hands and helpful guidance enables you — whatever your limitation — to reach your full potential for function.
Studying the Alexander Technique will help you relieve pain, retain mobility and increase range of motion. The Alexander Technique teacher helps you see what in your movement style causes joint compression and might exacerbate your condition. As you re-educate your overall coordination, the torso muscles support rather than compress the spine. Reduced compression allows your body to expand during daily activities and can help reduce pain.
- Postural problems:
Many people develop unhealthy posture and movement habits that become deep-seated patterns of strain. These habits are typically expressed by tight back and neck muscles and collapsed stature. With the hands-on guidance of a trained Alexander Technique teacher, you learn to elicit the primary control — an easy, dynamic relationship between the head and spine. You gain access to the body's elegant power steering. You learn that finding poise can help to ease discomfort and streamline movement. With greater fluidity and stability, you gain confidence and a more positive self-image. You also realize that long rehearsals or sitting long hours at a desk in front of a computer could be much more enjoyable--if you learn to pay attention to your needs as soon as you become aware of them, rather than when you are already feeling discomfort or pain.
- Asthma and other breathing disorders:
Asthma is a dysfunction of the body's respiratory reflex. Neck muscles tighten, shoulders tense up to the ears, and the abdominal muscles contract. Sufferers say the greatest problem is rising panic at the onset of an attack — the fear that they won't win the fight for the next breath. These responses are elements of the startle pattern. With the Alexander Technique, asthmatics can halt the startle pattern and calm the nervous system, inviting an easier balance in body and mind. They can control or conquer their symptoms. Expanded space in the torso and information about how to breathe can help anyone who wants to improve breathing capacity and, with it, overall vitality.
- Repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome:
The Alexander Technique addresses the cause of these widespread injuries: lack of postural support and excess joint compression while working. With the Alexander Technique, you learn to eliminate strain and perform repetitive movements with ease and comfort. Much of our current epidemic of repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome could be alleviated if more people learned how to:
-sit upright easily (avoid slumping)
-perform repeated motions with more awareness and less muscular tension in the shoulders, arms and wrists
-tap the keyboard and mouse lightly
-attune to their bodies' signal